50" Large Shiva Tandava | Madhuchista Vidhana (Lost-Wax) | Panchaloha Bronze from Swamimalai

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This phenomenally majestic ‘panchaloha’ bronze statue, made of the traditional five metals as laid down in the Shilpa Shastras – zinc, tin, copper, silver, and gold – is the sacred image of Shiva as Nataraja, performing a ‘tandava’ dance. As the ‘Lord of the Dance,’ this sculptural image is the most remarkable personification of that supreme being on which rests the celestial path of creation, salvation, and destruction. These contrasting yet complimenting qualities are most perfectly realized in the Hindu visualization of the ‘tandava’ of Shiva – a dance that carries various attributes, as seen in this work of art.

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Item Code: PHC444
Dimensions 50 inch Height X 10 inch Width X 30 inch Depth
Weight: 63.55 kg
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Free delivery
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Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide

Nataraja’s legend – whether performing the ‘Rudra tandava’ or the ‘Ananda tandava,’ or the dance of destruction or the dance of bliss – comes from Chidambaram, where his divine powers transformed him into the wandering mendicant Bikshadana, along with Vishnu disguised as Mohini, to confront a group of heretic saints or ‘rishis.’ Bikshadana, incurring the wrath of this entourage, was attacked by an onslaught of deadly snakes and a fierce tiger – symbolising the evil vice of egoism and the beastly nature of an untamed mind. Shiva almost playfully and easily vanquished these attacks, and adding insult to injury, wore their skins as a hide that his ascetic form is today famous for. Finally, the sages manifested the dwarf Apasmara, who in Shaivite tradition stands for arrogance and ignorance. Shiva easily overcame his presence, stepping on his back and began dancing, thus giving birth to the ‘tandava’ we know today.

This beautifully executed image, with its large proportions, has allowed the ‘sthapati’ from Swamimalai to ornately incorporate minute details chronicling the legend of Shiva’s tandava. The graceful four-armed avatar carries Shaivite attributes that are common as well as rare: the hands on the right have his battle axe or ‘parashu,’ the snake that he vanquished, a dagger-like weapon that is either a ‘khatvanga’ or ‘girish,’ and the bovine guardian deity of Kailasha and Shiva’s mount, Nandini. The hands on the left present Shiva holding the ‘mriga’ or deer, symbolising his lordship over the animal kingdom, the eternal fire which purifies the devotee’s soul, a ‘ghanta’ (curiously in place of the traditional ‘damru’) and a raised hand in the ‘pataka-hastha’ gesture, as part of the ‘tandava.’ Shiva is encircled in a fiery arch called ‘prabha mandala,’ signifying the cosmic fire that creates, consumes, and destroys the cosmos. The ‘prabha mandala’ is topped with a decorative ‘kirtimukha.’ The two animals at the base of the arch are the ‘makaras’ which breathe life into this cosmic fire. The ‘tandava’ is performed on the dwarf Apasmara – an allegory which symbolises that arrogance and ignorance (the dwarf) can only be removed by continuous efforts and action (the ‘tandava’).

This iteration of the blissful dance of Shiva is also unique because of the way in which Shiva raises his right leg, almost perpendicular to the ground – for this is Shiva performing the ‘Urdhava tandava.’ When Kali witnessed Shiva’s graceful and sinuous body dancing, she contested her skill against his. Shiva, to teach Kali humility, accepted the challenge and ruled that whoever won would not only be the Lord of Tillai but would also have to leave their shrine. Kali and Shiva’s duel of such an artistic fate reached a climactic moment when Shiva raised his leg in such a baring manner, knowing fully well that Kali’s modesty would not allow her to do the same, and thus making the latter concede defeat.  

Eternal Brilliance Unveiled: The Mystique of Panchaloha Bronze and Artful Maintenance Rituals


Bronze is a metal alloy that has the primary composition of Copper and Tin. There is also an addition of other metals such as Manganese, Aluminium, Nickel, and some non-metals such as Phosphorus. This composition of several metals and non-metals makes Bronze an extremely durable and strong metal alloy. It is for this reason that Bronze is extensively used for casting sculptures and statues. Since Bronze has a low melting point, it usually tends to fill in the finest details of a mould and when it cools down, it shrinks a little that makes it easier to separate from the mould.

" If you happen to have a bronze statue, simply use a cotton cloth with some coconut oil or any other natural oil to clean the statue. "


A village named Swamimalai in South India is especially known for exceptionally well-crafted Bronze icons of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The skilled artisans of this place use Panchaloha Bronze for casting the icons. Panchaloha Bronze is made of five metals; Copper, Zinc, Lead, and small quantities of Gold and Silver. Zinc gives a golden hue to the finished figure and Lead makes the alloy softer for the easy application of a chisel and hammer. The common technique for producing these statues and sculptures is the “Lost-wax” method. Because of the high durability of bronze sculptures and statues, less maintenance is required, and can still last up to many decades.

Exotic India takes great pride in its collection of hand-picked Panchaloha Statues. You will find the murtis of Gods (Krishna, Hanuman, Narasimha, Ganesha, Nataraja, and Kartikeya) and Goddesses (Saraswati, Lakshmi, Durga, and Parvati), and Buddha statues. You can also buy Ritual paraphernalia (Wicks lamp, Puja Kalash, Cymbals, and Puja Flag) on the website. All these statues and items have been made with a lot of care and attention, giving them a flawless finish. Their fine carving detail represents the rich tradition of India.

Sculpting Dreams in Metal: The Enigmatic Alchemy of Panchaloha Bronze Masterpieces

Bronze statues and sculptures are known for their exquisite beauty and the divinity that they emit all around the space. Bronze is considered an excellent metal alloy, composed primarily of copper and tin. Many properties make it suitable for sculpting even the most intricate and complex structures. There was a period in history, known as the “Bronze Age'', in which most sculptors preferred to work with Bronze as it was considered the hardest metal. Bronze is especially appreciated for its durability, ductility, and corrosion-resistance properties. India is especially known for its elegant workmanship of skills working with Bronze. The artisans of a town named Swamimalai in South India have been following a tradition of bronze murti making for ages. They use a special material known as Panchaloha bronze to make fascinating icons of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. All of us are allured by the beauty of bronze statues and sculptures but there goes a tough hand in casting those masterpieces with little or no imperfections. Since it is an extremely elaborate process, a sculptor needs to be highly skilled in making bronze antiques. The most common technique for casting bronze sculptures that has been followed since ancient times is the “Lost-wax” process which involves many steps:

1. Clay model making

The making of a bronze statue or sculpture starts with preparing a full-sized clay (usually Plasticine) model of the sculpture. This allows the artist to have an idea about the overall shape and form of the desired sculpture before working with bronze, a much more expensive and difficult-to-work-with material.

2. Mould making

Once the clay model is ready, a mould of the original sculpture is made. This is done by carefully covering the clay model with plaster strips. This step is carried out in such a way that no air bubbles are formed. It takes up to 24 hours for the plaster to dry. Once dried, the plaster is then gently removed from the clay model. The removal happens easily because the inner mould is usually made of materials such as polyurethane rubber or silicone.

3. Wax filling and removal

In this step, molten bronze or wax is poured or filled into the mould in such a way that it gets even into the finest details. The mould is then turned upside down and left to cool and harden. When the wax has hardened, it is removed from the mould.

4. Chasing

Chasing is the process in which the artist refines the surface of the bronze statue using various tools to achieve fine details. This smoothens the surface and gives the statue a finished look. If some parts of the statue were moulded separately, they are now heated and attached.

5. Applying a patina

Bronze sculptures are known for their unique look or sheen on the surface. This may take several years to achieve naturally. Applying patina to bronze sculptures is an important step to make them appear attractive. Working with clay, plaster mould, and molten wax can be messy and therefore sculptors wear old clothes and remain careful. The entire process of making a bronze statue takes several months to complete. Bronze sculptures last for many centuries because of the high durability of the material. Many centuries down the line, these sculptures continue to be appreciated for their majestic beauty.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. Is the statue hollow or solid ?
    A. Panchaloha bronze statues are made through a process of lost wax casting, hence they are solid. To know more about how bronze statues are made, please read our article on Panchaloha Bronze Statues. Whereas, brass statues are made through a process of clay casting, hence are hollow.
  • Q. Can I see the original photo of the product ?
    A. For original pictures of the statue, kindly email us at help@exoticindia.com.
  • Q. Can I return the statue ?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy.
  • Q. Can you customise the statue for me ?
    A. For any customisation, a new bronze statue has to be made. To know more, kindly email us at help@exoticindia.com.
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